Protesters burned tires blocking National Road 4 (RN4) and attempted to carry the body of a slain youth into the city center in Oicha (North Kivu province) on Tuesday, October 23, after a recent deadly attack by suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in neighboring Matiba village. Security forces used tear gas to disperse the crowds and UN forces allegedly shot into the air in an attempt to clear roads. Following the protest, suspected Maï-Maï militants attacked police positions in the Oicha but were arrested by security reinforcements. Although calm has reportedly been restored to Oicha as of Wednesday, October 24, additional violent protests and attacks in the near term cannot be ruled out.
The Oicha protest followed larger protests in the city of Beni on October 21, in which the town hall and post office were burned. Suspected ADF rebels attacked Congolese army positions and civilian neighborhoods in Beni (North Kivu province) on October 20-21, killing 15 people. The armed rebels also reportedly abducted at least 12 children.
Individuals in North Kivu province are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, avoid the affected area, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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